Hello, Dear Friends, here we are, already in the short and sweet month of February!
January was not kind to most of us, but I do hope
that February is a bit friendlier.
I've noticed the days are gradually getting longer,
and there are some tiny signs of spring,
here in the foothills of Mt. Rainier.
My crocus and early daffodils are coming up.
The wild plum trees are budding.
The robins are coming back.
Today I heard the 'peeper' frogs singing
down by the creek below our little mountain.
That always signals that spring is on the way.
My Mom, who lived just down the lane
from me for 30 years,
would always call me as soon as she
heard them. We could finally look forward
to sunshine and flowers, even though we still had
weeks to go. When I would visit her, she would
pull out the seed catalogs and show me all of her
garden plans. My Mom and Dad loved their gardens.
Every visit included a tour.
I sure do miss them.
It's such a bittersweet feeling when I hear the peepers sing.
I've been busy in my sewing room during these cold winter days,
creating new pillows and curtains
to brighten things up a bit.
(The little cats were my Mom's.)
It's always a process to get started.
My sewing room ends up being a catch-all, especially during the holidays.
So, a good clean-out was in order.
Redecorating after the holidays requires some thought.
I have to sort through my fabric to decide
the color theme and whether I have enough of this fabric or that.
That usually takes a few days.
I have cupboards and drawers, and a closet full of large bins of fabric...
all collected over time.
Then it is a matter of coordinating it all, along with lots of measuring,
and finally, I get down to work.
All of that sorting refreshes my mind as to what I have
in my inventory, so it serves two purposes.
It also helps clear my mind.
Sorting through life, one seam at a time...
And, of course, I always have a little companion to keep me company.
Can you see him?
Birdy-Boy usually stays on his perch in the window,
chattering to the wild birds, but occasionally
he likes to be a bit naughty.
Here he is, chewing the labels off my yarn stash.
He also likes to pull the pins out of my pincushions
Chattering happily all the while.
When I decorate, I usually follow my mood at the time.
Lately I have felt the need to have a calm, quiet refuge.
Natural and light.
Pillows sewn with linen fabrics. Embroidery. Woven baskets.
Pretty paper roses.
A sweet gift from my daughter-in-law a few years ago.
I hung a quilted wall-hanging I made a few years ago,
over a fruit crate vignette of vintage bottles, on the wall beside the hutch.
Some of these bottles I found at an old home site nearby, years ago.
There was once a thriving little coal mining town here at the turn of the last century,
complete with a hotel!
All gone now, except for a few photos and memories kept in some books at a tiny museum.
I bought the books.
How could I not?
They belong to this place.
For Valentine's Day.
One of my decorated candy boxes and some vintage alphabet blocks.
A vintage Valentine, too.
I created the romantic heart by simply wrapping a bent, wire clothes hanger
with brown floral tape, catching the 2 inch stems of dried roses as I went.
The roses were from my daughter on my birthday in October.
I added a tiny, rusty heart (a gift from my sis-in-law)
that I hung from sheer, moss green ribbon.
The beautiful flowers are from the Mr.
Terra-cotta trinket boxes.
A vintage market find.
A neutral theme.
A little surprise inside.
I made the heart border out of sheet music wrapping paper.
I just folded a long strip accordion style and cut the hearts, leaving
a tiny bit on each side uncut, then unfolded it and voila'!
Cherub napkin rings.
A favorite cookbook.
The wooden box on top of the pantry holds emergency candles.
We've lost our electricity a few times already
during storms, and it's nice to have them handy.
We've also lost a few old, spindly trees.
The Mr. has been busy cutting them up into firewood.
The forest is always evolving.
Sometimes he just leaves the logs for the wild things.
Little eco-systems sprout up around them.
The white ironstone goes with everything.
Don't tell anyone, but I keep my candy stash
in the big bowl on the bottom shelf.
For some reason, the Mr. hasn't found it yet!
Or maybe he has, but he knows better than to steal any. Lol!
I do like to surprise him and share, though.
My daughter gave me the beautiful basket on top of the shelf.
It's perfect for serving plates of appetizers.
I'm of the opinion that there's never enough pie.
I sewed the semi-sheer drapes on the glass door out of a large sheet.
Sheets are an inexpensive source of fabric
when you can find them on discount.
My daughter bought the pretty woven table runner for me
when we went to the flea-market last fall.
I've had this old box for years and thought it would look nice
with my collection of vintage bottles in the kitchen window.
Something to make me smile while cleaning up the dishes.
I'm really feeling Zen with this neutral theme. And I had
some pleasant afternoons sewing while the snow, rain and wind blew
outside the window.
Zen - a state of calm attentiveness in which one's actions
are guided by intuition rather than by conscious effort.
Always well within.
Speaking of Zen...
Life is everchanging, isn't it, my dear friends?
Lately I've felt the need to find my inner calm
as the winds of change
swirl all around me - around all of us.
I am working on the realization that I have no control
over anyone or anything, except for my own thoughts, actions
I've always been a worrier and tried to anticipate
what lies beyond every corner.
I guess that came with being a mother.
But now that I am older and wiser, I realize that
all the worrying and anxiety has not changed a thing
and is actually very detrimental.
There's a certain peace that goes along with this realization.
But also, a determination to take the responsibility
to be a positive force and not add to the negativity.
To go with the flow...
I saw a great quote recently.
'Be a fountain, not a drain.'
Although sometimes we need to give love and understanding towards
those that are drained. I think we are all feeling a bit drained
these days, so it is important to take some time for a
little introspection as to what is most important in life.
"The value of compassion cannot be over-emphasized.
Anyone can criticize. It takes a true believer
to be compassionate. No greater burden can be borne
by an individual than to know no one cares or understands."
- Arthur H. Stainback, educator and writer -
"So many people are hanging by the thinnest of threads.
Treat all people well. You could be that thread."
- John Pavlovitz -
I hope you, too, are finding a little Zen these days,
my dear friends.
Spring is just around the corner.
One corner we can happily anticipate.